Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays and spending it on the road makes it even more special. This week we returned to The Healy Senior Center in Humbolt County, California for their annual Thanksgiving Day lunch. We spent the holiday here last year and it only felt right to return again this year. We arrived with opened arms as we surprised guests who remembered us from the previous year. We spent the morning catching up with everyone and meeting new guests before serving lunch. In a way it felt like home with the comfort of arriving to a familiar place with familiar faces. We walked in and got right to work knowing what work was needed last year to successfully serve 30 seniors from around the county. Thankfully, this year we had extra help with our hometown friend and honorary gypsy, Alyse. Lunch was served promptly at 12:30 and everyone showed up hungry, including us (but what else is new). Having an extra set of hands certainly helped as we finished setting the tables, and served sparkling cider and egg nog, an appetizer and a full, traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the sides. While we served we witnessed old friends catching up and making room at their tables for new friends to join. It was sweet hearing them toast to friendship along with what everyone was thankful for on this holiday.
Once everyone was served the in house chefs made sure we ate, too. We ate quickly, of course, before clean up and time for dessert to be served to our guests.
We were able to catch up with the Director, Melissa who helped coordinate our arrival both times. She expressed the drastic changes in just a short year from our last visit. The Healy Center operates solely on local donations and grants from Humbolt County. The changes in the legalization in the state of California’s marijuana laws have affected their annual income. Sadly the effects were seen to us by the amount of food compared to last year. Like us gypsies and the gratitude of the Center we made the best of what we had and successfully served over 30 guests today. We hugged with goodbyes and with a wink of an eye made a promise to return again next year.
Down the block is the home of our favorite radio station, KMUD and we made a pit stop to renew my membership. If you remember last year, we got a tour of the radio station in exchange for stories of our journey volunteering. This year while making a pledge to their annual pledge drive, the volunteers at the station wanted to hear more which led to an interview with their awesome news reporter, Isabella. We stayed longer and chatted about our two year trip from the east coast and our afternoon serving Thanksgiving at The Healy Center. Our first radio interview was a blast!
Click Here to Listen
We hit the road making a pit stop at the grocery store to prepare for our own Thanksgiving dinner. This year we will be spending it with old friends, new friends, and friends that are family and we couldn’t be more grateful for them all.